Typhoon Sinlaku and Koh Lanta

I am sitting at my computer while the wind and rain lash at the bedroom window, we are in the midst of a slow moving typhoon, the eye of which is forecast to arrive over Taipei this evening. It is a category 3 (Katrina was a 3) which may change to a 4. It is our first experience of a really BIG typhoon and being on the 17th floor it is interesting to watch what happens to the rain with the wind gusts; sometimes it is flying sideways sometimes even upwards but eventually it lands on the ground and the games park opposite is rapidly becoming a lake.
The wind has been blowing all night, it makes whistling, howling sounds which make one want to curl up in a ball somewhere, I suspect an innate trait probably handed down through evolution in order to stay safe during big storms. The government declared a shut down of all city run agencies as of last night and the weather bureau issued a typhoon warning, all this means we should stay home unless it is an emergency. Everyone was preparing yesterday, shopping and making sure they had candles, water and food that doesn’t’ need cooking, in case the electricity goes out. Taipei is usually very good and all buildings are typhoon and earthquake safe but we shall wait and see.

We had another trip to Bangkok the last week of August. Dave had to work on the Monday and Tuesday, then we went off to an island in the Andaman sea, Koh Lanta, off the coast of Krabi.
It is the rainy season down there which means the ocean is quite rough so we didn’t get to go in the sea too much and we were the only ones in our hotel one of the nights (it is the low season for tourists) but this is how we like it, very relaxing.

view of our hotel from outside our room

the Bike
We hired a motor bike for a couple of days and travelled around most of the island except for the very end, the road was a dirt track and very hilly and Dave didn’t feel safe navigating it with me on the back so we didn’t go.
We met some interesting people, a couple of Dr. from France who go there every year for 2 weeks just to unwind. They had travelled by road along Route One in Viet Nam in the mid 1980’s and had also gone into Cambodia in the early ’80’s to be doctors there. They know the Dali Lama and usually go to Tibet every year but didn’t go this year as it was difficult for them to get visas with all the trouble going on there. They had some good stories to tell.
We also met a foursome who go to Lanta every year, they were Liverpudlians, a brother and sister, with their respective partners. They wondered about the political trouble in Bangkok but I told them not to worry. The upheaval had started while we were in Bangkok (it is still ongoing at the moment) and the airport at Krabi was closed on Fri. and Sat., we were due to fly out at 10:am Sunday morning. Luckily for us they reopened it in time for our flight to be the first one out and we had no trouble after that. I know everyone is being warned not to go to Thailand but I am sure it is OK and they really need tourists as a lot of stuff has been cancelled. Most of what is going on is happening in a small area of downtown Bangkok and need not interfere with tourist activities, the rest of Thailand is fine.
A little girl in a shop in Lanta old town
A street in Lanta old town


Dave about to watch sunset

The sunset as seen from our hotel room veranda

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